In Find That Film’s oldest offer to date, we take a look at 1931’s The Cheat. A Tallulah Bankhead vehicle (and oft-remade story from way back in 1915. Seriously! The 1931 version is the SECOND remake of this movie.) that does not disappoint on the salacious details. Tallulah plays Elsa, a compulsive gambler who can’t say no to a sure thing. Unfortunately, the sure thing in this movie is a smarmy under-the-table Lothario played by Irving Pichel. As with most pre-Hays Code Hollywood films it’s not what’s shown, but what’s implied that so lascivious, and in the case of The Cheat, what’s shown may be just as bad as what’s vaguely mentioned! To get people to watch this movie in the past, all I’ve had to say is that “A woman gets branded! Like livestock!” and that is usually enough to secure at least a cursory glance at this pre-Code gem. Come watch rich white people and their “problems” (and don’t forget that these people were smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression while all this is going on!). Watch Irving be underhandedly nasty. Watch Tallulah play the worst possible person that you end up rooting for in a movie.
Watch The Cheat! But, you know…listen to us talk about it first.